by Rabbi Hector Gomez on February 18th, 2015

The Double Portion In 5775/2015"
Hebrew Symbols "Ayin and Hey"
As we entered into the Hebraic year of 5775 we looked into the Biblical and Hebrew symbolism of "75" or "ayin hey." In Hebrew the alphabet letters have a corresponding numerical values, as well as pictorial symbolisms.
Ayin: 70 is pictorially symbolic in that it has two eyes which represent the ability to perceive, and the choice of good or evil. Ayin is a silent letter and therefore although it sees with two eyes it does not speak, which is thought to be symbolic of humility. It can also be translated as a "fountain" of wisdom, or an "eye."
Hey: 5 is symbolic of the picture of a tent door (dalet) with a hand (yod). Hebrew4christians.com says: "Since hey is formed from dalet and yod, it can also be a picture of returning to God by means of the transforming power of the Spirit. Dalet stands for brokenness, and yod stands for a hand. Opening the door of the heart then is a picture of the Spirit of God indwelling the Believer..."
Concerning Israel, I believe that the number "5" in the year 5775, represents grace. Israel and the Jewish people will be coming into revelation of the 5 wounds of the Cross—both hands, both feet, and the pierced side—finding their Messiah, Yeshua.
 "They shall look on Him who they have pierced..." John 19:37
A Shmita Year
5775 is also a season for the United States and the nations to count the cost of His Lordship. The rest that you sow into this year will bring fertility into your thoughts and actions.
5775 is a Shmita year (the 7th year, a sabbatical year, a year of rest, a "year to let go") and a season of dormancy that prepares your inheritance to be received. 
"The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow." Deuteronomy 28:12
This Shmita year for Israel and the nations is a season to rest from striving and relying on our own strength. It is a season to prepare us to receive our Jubilee inheritance in 5776.
5776 is a Jubilee year and the 70th Jubilee year observed since Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land!
The number 70 corresponds with a total evolutionary cycle being complete and perfected. 
It is truly incredible, and not a coincidence, that from January 2015 we have roughly 9 months to prepare to give birth to the most powerful Jubilee year in our lifetime.
This is a critical and important time for choices and spiritual decisions—like a season of pregnancy when a woman with child has to be conscious of taking care of her body during the most critical time for forming the life of the new child.
I believe that there is a double portion anointing to all who will call on the Name of the Lord to birth a third-day revelation and see what God sees, understand it, perceive it, and have the grace, resources, and anointing to bring it to pass.
"Grace, Grace!"
There is a release of double portion for those who have been faithful and consistent in their walk with Yeshua. As the Holy Spirit is moving , it becomes quite clear that we were being caught up into a prophetic vortex of multiple whirlwinds of timing and destiny with the Lord.
The revelation that 5775 is a year that God sees and God releases great grace.  The Lord is saying Sons & Daughters of Yahweh, I want you to see as I see, and experience grace as I give grace."
Tthis level of grace and revelation that the Lord desired to release into His Body could only be received in a spiritual state of supernatural Sabbath Rest. The Scriptures are clear of our observance of the Lord’s Sabbath from Friday to Saturday sundown and the spirit of the Lord is saying that during this Shmita year, a Sabbath rest year, that this would be a work of the Holy Spirit, and would not be by might nor by power, but truly by His Spirit in a divine moed—meaning in God's appointed time.
The message of the Lord is saying: The Double Portion 5775/2015, the two fives has a great significance. The Hebraic calendar and the Gregorian calendar were numerically saying, "Grace, Grace!"
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is the tree of life." Proverbs 13:12
Biblical numerology is important to understand in these last days. We will witness the prophetic pulses of God made manifest through His numbers in many ways. Now when is a real shift is going to take place?
God is saying that! Apostolic first-fruits, apostolic Israel, apostolic first-nations, and multiple generations of God’s people need to be  present at the Starting the Year Off Right  when they come together in one accord under the tent of "ayin hey" saying, "God’s calendar is shouting Grace, Grace as we move into 2015 to start the year off right!"
The Lord is saying not to look to your past, your past is over!  But focus on the Yeshua Messiah and your future this year, and be consistent and faithful in all areas of your work! If you have fallen back in these areas or in your Tithes and Offerings, then this is the time to start fresh and receive the promises of what this year will bring!  
God wants to release abundance of blessings this Shmita year, but it’s up to you to walk in His obedience to receive it !!!   Amen!  
Shalom, Rabbi/Pastor Hector Gomez


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on February 18th, 2015

Deliverance Prayers to Recite Out Loud
Yeshua Messiah I believe you are the Son of Yahweh and the only way to Yahweh. (John 14:6)
That you died on the stake for my sins and rose again that I
might be forgiven and receive eternal life. (Matt.26:26-28;John 3:16;John 17:1-3;ICor 15:3,4)
I renounce all pride and religious self righteousness and any
dignity that does not come from you.
I have no claim on your mercy except that you died in my place.
I confess all my sins before You (note: mention specific sins)
and hold nothing back. I repent of all my sins, I turn away
from them and turn to you for mercy and forgiveness. (Luke 5:22,23)
I forgive all who have ever harmed or wronged me.
I lay down all bitterness, all resentment, and all hatred. (Matthew 6:14,15;Matt 18:21,22)
I cut off all contact I've ever had with the occult and false
religion and commit myself to get rid of any implements of the
occult and false religion that is in my power to destroy.
(Deuteronomy 12:2,3;18:9-12;Acts 19:19)
I thank you Yeshua that you were willingly made a curse
That I might be redeemed from every curse and receive the
blessings of Yahweh. On that basis I ask you to release me and
set me free to receive the deliverance I need.
(Deut.21:22,23;Gal.3:13)
I take my stand with you Yeshua Messiah against Satan and all
of his demons. I take my stand with you Yeshua against every
dark and evil force that has in any way come into my life,
any hindering spirits, any daemons (demons in the space just
above the earth) and any hindering human spirits.
(Matthew 10:1,8;Mark 16,17,18)
I submit to you Yeshua Messiah  and resist the devil. So be it (Amen).
Deliverance Prayer Over Demons
And now I speak directly to any demons that have followed me, been transferred to me or sent to me. I COMMAND YOU TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW AND DON'T COME BACK IN YESHUA MESSIAH'S NAME.
I command any demons that have attached themselves to any part of my mind, body, will, imagination, libido or personality to LEAVE RIGHT NOW. I disconnect and sever all ties and mediums that connect me with Satan and his demons in Yeshua Messiah's name.
For further more specific deliverance issues follow example below:


I speak directly to any spirit of ________________(fill in blank with appropriate spirit IE. ,alcoholism, poverty, chaos, confusion etc.)
I drive you far from me and release myself from you. I expel
you in the name of Yeshua Messiah, Don't come back!
You have no place in me I belong to Yahweh. I have been bought
back with a price and am sanctified with the blood of Yeshua
Messiah. You can do me no harm you must leave and don't come back
I submit to Yahweh (God the Father) and Yeshua.
Thank You Yahweh HalleluYah!!


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on February 18th, 2015

The Yeshua Pictographs
Today's Hebrew study will focus on the name of  our Messiah in Hebrew  which is 'Yeshua'. Once again, the pictographs will be quite revealing, providing information in a nutshell that is revealed throughout the course of the entire New Testament.

[Yeshua] The name of Yeshua is composed of four Hebrew letters, which reading right-to-left are the 'Yud', the 'Shin', the 'Vav', and the 'Ayin'. We're all familiar with the common translation of "He Saves" that is associated with this name, and certainly that corresponds to scriptures such as Matthew 1:21, which states "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” But there is a little more to the story. Hidden within His name are a few other attributes in addition to the fact that he saves.

THE PICTOGRAPHS

 As with each of our other studies, we'll now substitute the ancient Hebrew pictographic letters for the modern Aramaic Square Script letters, and see what kind of mnemonic meanings emerge.

[Yud] The first letter is the 'Yud', which has a 'Y' sound and is represented by the arm and hand of a man. This letter carries the implied meanings of 'work' or 'throw' or 'worship', along with a few other similar connotations that are all related to working or doing something. It can also mean simply 'arm' or 'hand'.
 

[Shin] The second letter is the 'Shin', which has a 'Sh' sound or an 'S' sound, and is represented by two front teeth. This letter has the potential meanings of 'two' or 'sharp' or 'press' or 'eat', but it can also mean 'consume' or 'destroy' or anything that relates to the function of teeth or eating.


[Vav] The third letter is the 'Vav', which today has a 'V' sound, an 'O' sound, or a 'U' sound depending on how it is used, but in ancient times it was called a 'Waw', and carried a 'W' sound. It is represented by a tent peg, and has the potential meanings of 'add' or 'secure' or 'hook', but it can also mean simply 'peg' or 'nail'. 


[Ayin] The last letter is the 'Ayin', which has a short 'A' sound, and is represented by a human eye. Potential meanings include 'watch' or 'know' or 'shade', or anything that relates to the functions of the eyes such as to 'see', 'understand', or 'reveal'. And as with the other pictographic letters, it can simply mean 'eye'. 

.
THE MESSAGE

When we combine the various meanings that are available for each letter, and consider the context provided by the person they are describing, I think the message that they convey becomes clear;

"He who creates, destroys, saves, and reveals"

Yeshua was our Creator (John 1:1-3), and it is He who will destroy those who destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18). He is also the only name by which we are saved (Act 4:10-12), and He is also the revealer of mysteries (Daniel 2:28). The fact that all of these qualities are wrapped up in his name is certainly no coincidence.



Yeshua 'haMashiach'
There is also a Hebrew lesson in the revealed and in the mnemonic meaning behind the word Messiah. The second half of His title, 'haMashiach', or Messiah, and see what else may be revealed about the ministry of Yeshua and the role that he will play in the last days.

'haMashiach'

[HaMashiach]



The Hebrew letters above show the proper Hebrew spelling of the name 'haMashiach', which consist of the letters 'Hey' (the 'H' sound), then 'Mem' (the 'M' sound), then 'Shin' (the 'Sh' sound), then 'Yud' (the 'Y' sound), and finally the 'Chet' (the hard 'H'). And in addition to these, several vowel points are inferred between letters where necessary. As you read these letters, always remember that the Hebrew shown above reads from right to left. So let's jump right in and see what additional information the ancient pictographic letters may tell us about our Messiah.

[Hey]
The first letter is the 'Hey', which is a picture of a man trying to get our attention. As we discovered in prior studies, this letter serves as the word 'the' in modern hebrew. In the pictographs however, it carried the meaning 'look' or 'reveal' or 'breathe', and could alternately mean 'behold'. 


[Mem]
The second letter is the 'Mem', which depicts waves of water, and specifically, water in a state of chaos. This letter can represent 'chaos' or 'mighty' or 'blood', or it can simply suggest 'waves', 'sea', or 'water'.


[Shin]
The third letter is the 'Shin', which is symbolized by two front teeth. This letter carries with it the various meanings of 'sharp' or 'press', or 'eat', or 'two', or by extension even 'consume' or 'destroy'. These are all things that are done with the two front teeth, or are related to the two front teeth.


[Yud]
The fourth letter is the 'Yud', which is a picture of the arm and hand of a man. This letter has the potential meanings of 'work' or 'throw' or 'worship', because that is what we do with our arms and hands, but it can mean 'create' or simply mean 'arm' or 'hand' as the picture suggests.


[Chet]
The last letter is the 'Chet', which is a picture of the walls within a tent or house. It has the potential meanings of 'outside', 'divide', or 'half', and carries with it the idea of 'separation', because that's what walls do.


THE MEANING

As always, the context of the subject at hand often determines the context of the interpretation. So in this instance we should be looking for the meaning that would be appropriate to the Messiah. Fortunately, that context is extremely clear, and when we combine these meanings the following sentence emerges;

"Behold, His blood destroys, saves, and divides"

Over the last two millennia, nothing has been as divisive in this world as the blood of Yeshua Messiah. Those that believe in the crucifixion and resurrection of Yeshua Messiah are saved by His blood and will have eternal life, but those who deny the blood of Messiah will ultimately be destroyed. And in the end, it is the word of God that will divide them for an eternity.


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on February 18th, 2015

50 Shades of Perversion—Don’t Give In
  February 13, 2015




While listening to radio of a well-known sports talk show host I was surprised that they were advertising a 50 Shades of Gray Teddy Bear for Valentine’s Day—complete with teddy bear handcuffs.
Bondage is cool. Perverted sex is in. Nothing to be ashamed of. That is the message that is being pushed. Sadomasochism meets the mainstream. A few months ago on an airplane the woman next to me was reading pornography. Of course she would never have opened up and Playboy (or Playgirl) next to me on a plane—but 50 Shades is the forbidden fruit that is cool to eat—in public.
A Warning
R.E.C./Beit Tikkun Family & Friends, in prayer this morning I sensed that a spirit of perversion, temptation and compromise is about to be poured out on this world. The subtle message that Satan is peddling is, “What’s the big deal? Just check it out? Maybe it will help your marriage?”
I want to strongly encourage you: DON’T GIVE IN! It is a gateway to demonic bondage. Don’t open the door! As Paul warns “Don’t give the devil a foothold.” (Eph. 4:27) Going to this movie could be the beginning of years of sexual bondage (And mean bondage in bad way!). Again, don’t open the door.
Addictive
Pornography is as powerful and addictive as heroin. I have ministered to men who could not get through a day without looking at it. Those who are trapped would do anything to go back to the first time they opened the door and make a different choice.
It is amazing that we are all about Social Justice and ending Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery—but it’s cool to pretend you’re being raped or tied up? We give money, post on Facebook and tweet our outrage—and then we are to go home and make believe?
A Sad Prediction
And mark my words, soon, in same way that some pastors are hearing “God tell them” to embrace homosexuality and the transgender trend, some prominent pastor is going to share how 50 Shades of Gray revitalized his crumbling marriage. He will encourage people to experiment—of course within the confines of “Biblical principle.” We live in an age where one who questions biblical principles is praised. The Bible is outdated, they say.
Curious?
Every day on the way home from my church office, I see a large sign advertising the movie.  Many will be lured to this honey trap of Satan out of pour curiosity and some will leave with a fledging addiction. No, not everyone—but why take a chance?
Bottom line, is that this movie/book is dangerous not matter how trendy it is and will release a spirit of sexual perversion in the world. We must all be on our guard. Stay focus on Yeshua Messiah our soon coming King! Amen!


In Yeshua Messiah’s Service,
Rabbi/Pastor Hector Gomez


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on February 18th, 2015

Tomorrow’s Message: “The Torah & Yeshua Is In Your DNA”


The Jewish Woman Who May Have Discovered DNA



By Leah Falk


[The Jewish Woman Who May Have Discovered DNA]
Rosalind Franklin – the “Dark Lady of DNA,” as one of her biographers put it—has long been viewed as one of 20th-century science’s great underdogs. Her role in discovering DNA’s structure was downplayed, critics say, while her competitors James Watson and Francis Crick lapped up the world’s praise.
But it’s far from clear that Franklin, who was born into a well-off British-Jewish family in 1920, would have shared in her colleagues’ Nobel Prize for the discovery of the double helix. While one of her X-ray photos, the now famous Photo 51, provided Watson and Crick the data they needed to prove the helix structure, Franklin at first denied that the helix existed. (She later came around, writing a paper that included the double helix theory, but she died before it could be published).
By all accounts, Franklin was a go-getter when it came to asking for what she wanted – as a child, she insisted on physics, a “hard” science, rather than biology, a favorite among other girls – so it’s up to history whether the Prize was pried from her fingers. But for such a trailblazer, it hardly matters. We’ll always look at helices and think of you, Rosalind. Or in the words of Jackson Browne, “Rosie, you’re alright.”


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on February 18th, 2015

R.E.C./Beit Tikkun Family,


During this time allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you enter this Passover Season so I want to impart Godly wisdom!


Here are some  basic Torah/ Biblical Law, Hebrew-Jewish Wisdom : God will only give you what you can manage, not what you ask for! Why? Because when you ask for something, it implies ownership, and when you manage something it implies Stewardship! In other words God gave us Rulership not Owership! So Prosperity is not dependent on the resources God gives you, but on the ablitiy to manage what God gives you! Amen   


Shabbat Shekalim


This week begins the first of four Parshiot leading up to the festivals of Purim and Passover.  That’s right!  These two holidays are just around the corner!


Because this week’s Shabbat is called Shabbat Shekalim (שבת שקלים / Sabbath of Shekels), a special reading called a maftir is added.  Maftir shares the same root as Haftarah—FTR, which means to conclude.


This week’s special reading concludes the Parasha and is taken from Exodus 30:11–16; it pertains to the half-shekel tax for the Tabernacle.


Shekalim is the plural form of the Hebrew word shekel, which was the currency of ancient Israel.  It is also used today in the modern state of Israel.




Every Jewish adult male (20 years and older) was required to give half a Biblical shekel toward the building and maintenance of the Tabernacle.


Nationally, rich and poor alike set aside personal interests and united by contributing equally to the goal of building the Tabernacle.


In remembrance of the half shekel, at this time of year, some Jewish people contribute to institutes of Jewish learning.


Shabbat Shekalim perhaps is also a good reminder of the importance of financially contributing to the upkeep and operating costs of those who are doing the work of the Lord.


“All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the Lord.  The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the Lord to atone for your lives.  Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting.  It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord, making atonement for your lives.”  (Exodus 30:14–16)


` During the Temple times, the half-shekel tax, called machatzit hashekel, was due yearly on the first of Nissan.


The collection of this tax was significant and practical since Passover occurs in Nissan and these extra funds allowed for the purchase of cattle for the communal sacrifices.


The call for the tax was issued to the people at the start of the previous month, Adar, giving people time to prepare their payment before the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover.


Funds also contributed to the upkeep of the Temple and its vessels, the roads and pathways to the Temple, wages, and the maintenance of the ritual baths called mikvot for the customary pre-Passover purification.  If a mikvah was not properly maintained, then it would not be kosher and could not be used for ritual purposes.


Shabbat Shekalim, then, is a wonderful time to renew our commitment to be faithful in our support of those places doing the work of the Lord and where we are being fed spiritually.


Start planning your harvest of blessings for this upcoming Passover Season now!


Shalom and blessings for your faithfulness!   


Rabbi/Pastor Hector Gomez


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on February 18th, 2015

Why Fifty Shades of Grey Is More Dangerous Than ISIS     
It’s no secret. When black and white merge, they produce grey. Every time.
There is absolute white. There is absolute black. But there is no such thing as absolute grey. The color grey has an infinite number of shades. Not just 50. And that is exactly why this Friday could go down as one of the most morally destructive days in our nation’s history.
For us as Christians, the lightest shade of grey is destructive when we know it is a matter of disobeying the Word of God or the Spirit of God.
I heard one preacher say, “It could be the most destructive day globally since Eve took a bite of fruit in the Garden.” Eve allowed her curiosity to lead her to just one bite. Satan did not tempt her with the entire tree; just a bite.
One bite hidden and not resulting in brokenness and repentance will naturally lead to many bites. Don’t fall for it. The grey pathway is paved with increasing desensitization resulting in destructive behavior. This chart is the path David took regarding Bathsheba and Uriah in 2 Samuel 11.
Even a small amount of societal grey can be destructive. For us as Christians, the lightest shade of grey is destructive when we know it is a matter of disobeying the Word of God or the Spirit of God.
Even a seemingly small area of disobedience is sin. And the wages of sin is death, in some form or fashion. Therefore, this Friday will likely be remembered by godly people not as a “grey” day in history, but a “black” day.
When it comes to desensitization to moral perversion resulting in cultural disintegration, the release of the movie Fifty Shades may be more destructive than ISIS. Why? Because at least we are still on our guard fighting against ISIS at some level. But on many fronts, we quit fighting against sin in the sexual realm.


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 18th, 2014

Happy Hanukkah, R.E.C. Beit Tikkun!


Today is the first day of Hanukkah.  Last night, the first light of the hanukkiah was kindled in homes and public venues as this special holiday began.


As the sun sets here in Jerusalem, the second night of Hanukkah begins.


Perhaps the best-known custom of Hanukkah is the lighting of the hanukkiah, and tonight, all around the world, two candles will be lit on the hanukkiah (special Hanukkah menorah)!





Symbols of Hanukkah: the hanukkiah, sufganiyot (jam-filled donuts), gelt
(chocolate coins), and dreidels (tops).


This special menorah is used only at Hanukkah, and although it is reminiscent of the seven-branched light stand that stood in the Temple, it is different.


Instead of having seven branches like the Temple Menorah, the hanukkiah has eight candles, as well as a special candle called a shamash.  Since the shamash is used to light all the other candles, it is considered to be the servant candle.


This ninth candle is most often elevated over the eight other candles in the hanukkiah and sometimes placed in the middle.


Since the second day of Hanukkah begins tonight, a second light will be added to the hanukkiah.  With the shamash, there will be three lights glowing on the Hanukkah menorah.


On each night of Hanukkah, one additional candle is added to the hanukkiah. On the last night, the shamash lights all eight candles so that all of the lights shine together.





Fully lit oil hanukkiah with the shamash raised at the end.




In addition to lighting the hanukkiah, it is also customary to read stories, spin the dreidel, sing Hanukkah songs, and eat foods fried in oil.


Sufganiyot (donuts), which are a favorite here in Israel, and latkes (potato pancakes) served with sour cream and applesauce, are two traditional Hanukkah foods.


As fattening as these deep fried foods are, they are prepared in order to memorialize the miracle God did in restoring the Temple in Jerusalem and saving the Jewish People from the Greek/Syrian army.  (It’s all about the story of the olive oil!)





A Jewish girl eats a sufganiyah on Hanukkah.
This fried food of Hanukkah memorializes the
miracle of a one-day supply of holy oil burning for
eight days while the Temple was rededicated.




Hanukkah: A Great Miracle Happened Here


The word Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word hanukh, which means dedication or education.


Hanukkah is celebrated as the Feast of Dedication to remember the re-dedication of the Temple after God faithfully delivered Israel from her oppressors.


In fact, the reason for lighting eight candles is to present to Israel and the world a visula reminder of God's faithfulness and the miraculous story of Hanukkah.


Between the years 175 to 163 BC, after the death of Alexander the Great, who had conquered and divided the entire ancient world of the Eastern Mediterranean, the area of Judea came under control of the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes.


Antiochus tried to force the Jews to accept Greek culture.  He even defiled the Beit HaMikdash (Temple in Jerusalem) by sacrificing a pig on the altar and desecrating this holy place with the blood of this unclean animal.


As described in the book of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha, this wicked ruler forbade the Jewish people from keeping God’s laws.  In fact, the penalty for keeping the Torah was death.  Many Jewish people chose martyrdom over defying God’s commandments.





Since the Greeks outlawed the study of the Torah, when someone
approached, the Torah was hidden and dreidels were taken out and
played like a game of chance.  Their oppressors thought the Jewish
people were playing a children's game when they were actually pursuing
the things of God.  The letters nun, gimmel, hey, shin stand for nes gadol
haya sham, meaning a great miracle happened there.  In Israel, however,
the letters are nun, gimmel, hey, pey meaning a great miracle happened
here (poh).


Antiochus also erected a statue of the Greek false god, Zeus, in the Holy of Holies!


As horrible as this was, it fulfilled the Hebrew Prophet Daniel's prophecy concerning the “abomination of desolation.”


The Prophet Daniel wrote: “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice.  Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.  With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him."  (Daniel 11:31–32)


A Jewish revolt against this assault on Judaism rose up led by the courageous freedom fighters called the Maccabees.


This name is an acronym standing for the Hebrew phrase Mi kamocha ba’elim Adonai, which means Who is like you, Lord, among the gods?





Delicious potato latkes served with generous dollops of sour cream and
applesauce—a real Hanukkah delight!


Although greatly outnumbered and overpowered, Yehudah (Judah) the Maccabee led his brothers and some other Jewish men in a valiant battle to drive out tens of thousands of Greeks and reclaim the Temple.


God helped this small but courageous group of men to win the victory in 163 BC, taking back Jerusalem and rededicating the Temple to God.


Jewish law requires the Temple Menorah to stay lit 24 hours a day using consecrated oil, but tradition has it that they only found a one-day supply of sealed, consecrated oil; however, the oil miraculously burned for a whole eight days—the time it took to prepare the sanctified oil for lighting the Menorah every day after.





The most common tradition at Hanukkah is lighting the hanukkiah.  It is
lit in remembrance of the eight days that the Golden Menorah in the
Holy Temple kept burning on a one-day supply of oil.




Yeshua: the Shamash Who Kindled the Light in Our Hearts and Lives


"For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."  (Mark 10:45)


Since Hanukkah is not a holiday ordained by God in the Torah, some wonder if Yeshua (Jesus) actually celebrated it.


The answer is a resounding yes!


“It was winter, and the Festival of the Dedication was being held in Jerusalem.  Yeshua was walking in the Temple precincts, in Solomon's Portico.  The Jews gathered round Him and asked: ‘How long must you keep us in suspense?  If you are the Messiah say so plainly.’”  (John 10:22–24)


Yeshua went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), and while in the Temple area He proclaimed, “I and the Father are one.”  (John 10:30)





Shamash: Yeshua the Messiah, like the shamash candle, kindles the
light in our hearts and brings us out of darkness into the light of life.


Just as the shamash on the hanukkiah is the servant candle that lights the other eight candles, Yeshua the Messiah came as a servant to be the light that shines in and through us to others.


John confirms that Yeshua is the light that darkness cannot overcome.


“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  (John 1:4–5)


Darkness has no power over the light.  When the lights are turned on, the darkness disappears immediately!  It’s never a struggle or a contest.  Light wins every time!


“When Yeshua spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”  (John 8:12)





Israeli children gather around the recreated
Temple Menorah, which is on display in
Jerusalem.  The Temple Institute created this
Menorah for use in the Third Temple, which will
inevitably by built.




The Significance of the Menorah


When the Holy Temple was restored during the time of the Maccabees, the act of re-lighting the Menorah in the Temple represented restoring God’s presence there.


The Temple was set up so that the Jewish people would have a place to come and meet with God.  And while the Menorah was placed inside the Holy Place, the Jewish sages teach that the windows in the Sanctuary walls were no ordinary windows:

“For what is normally considered the function of windows? To let the light in. But these windows were in order to let the light the out—to disseminate the spiritual light emanating from the Temple Menorah out into the world.  The Sanctuary's windows allowed the special ethereal light coming forth from the Menorah to burst out to the world from within the hallowed hall.”  (Temple Institute)


While the Bible makes it clear that the Temple will once again be rebuilt, today, those who know Yeshua do have spiritual light and are the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh).


“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”  (1 Corinthians 3:16)


Without the presence and Light of God shining on us, we are all lost.  Moreover, without the presence and Light of God shining in us and out from us, we cannot minister His Good News of saving grace to others.










R.E.C./Beit Tikkun Family,




During this joyous eight-day season of Hanukkah, is a time of rejoicing with the Good News that Yeshua is the Light of the World. This is also a time of Dedicating ourselves to the Lord and a time of giving to the Kingdom of God so His word will continue to reach the world! We want to thank everyone for your generous and faithful support, and we pray abundant blessings to all!


Click Here to give your Special Hanukkah Gift: http://www.recministries.org/online-giving.htm




"I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness."  (John 12:46)


"In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind."  (John 1:4)

  
From all of our ministry family...


We wish you a Very Happy Hanukkah and a Joyous Holiday Season filled with abundant blessings!


"The blessing of the Lord be on you; we bless you in the name of the LORD."  (Psalm 129:8)


Chag Sameach/Happy Holiday,
Rabbi/Pastor Hector Gomez


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 18th, 2014

Happy Hanukkah, R.E.C. Beit Tikkun!


Today is the first day of Hanukkah.  Last night, the first light of the hanukkiah was kindled in homes and public venues as this special holiday began.


As the sun sets here in Jerusalem, the second night of Hanukkah begins.


Perhaps the best-known custom of Hanukkah is the lighting of the hanukkiah, and tonight, all around the world, two candles will be lit on the hanukkiah (special Hanukkah menorah)!





Symbols of Hanukkah: the hanukkiah, sufganiyot (jam-filled donuts), gelt
(chocolate coins), and dreidels (tops).


This special menorah is used only at Hanukkah, and although it is reminiscent of the seven-branched light stand that stood in the Temple, it is different.


Instead of having seven branches like the Temple Menorah, the hanukkiah has eight candles, as well as a special candle called a shamash.  Since the shamash is used to light all the other candles, it is considered to be the servant candle.


This ninth candle is most often elevated over the eight other candles in the hanukkiah and sometimes placed in the middle.


Since the second day of Hanukkah begins tonight, a second light will be added to the hanukkiah.  With the shamash, there will be three lights glowing on the Hanukkah menorah.


On each night of Hanukkah, one additional candle is added to the hanukkiah. On the last night, the shamash lights all eight candles so that all of the lights shine together.





Fully lit oil hanukkiah with the shamash raised at the end.




In addition to lighting the hanukkiah, it is also customary to read stories, spin the dreidel, sing Hanukkah songs, and eat foods fried in oil.


Sufganiyot (donuts), which are a favorite here in Israel, and latkes (potato pancakes) served with sour cream and applesauce, are two traditional Hanukkah foods.


As fattening as these deep fried foods are, they are prepared in order to memorialize the miracle God did in restoring the Temple in Jerusalem and saving the Jewish People from the Greek/Syrian army.  (It’s all about the story of the olive oil!)





A Jewish girl eats a sufganiyah on Hanukkah.
This fried food of Hanukkah memorializes the
miracle of a one-day supply of holy oil burning for
eight days while the Temple was rededicated.




Hanukkah: A Great Miracle Happened Here


The word Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word hanukh, which means dedication or education.


Hanukkah is celebrated as the Feast of Dedication to remember the re-dedication of the Temple after God faithfully delivered Israel from her oppressors.


In fact, the reason for lighting eight candles is to present to Israel and the world a visula reminder of God's faithfulness and the miraculous story of Hanukkah.


Between the years 175 to 163 BC, after the death of Alexander the Great, who had conquered and divided the entire ancient world of the Eastern Mediterranean, the area of Judea came under control of the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes.


Antiochus tried to force the Jews to accept Greek culture.  He even defiled the Beit HaMikdash (Temple in Jerusalem) by sacrificing a pig on the altar and desecrating this holy place with the blood of this unclean animal.


As described in the book of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha, this wicked ruler forbade the Jewish people from keeping God’s laws.  In fact, the penalty for keeping the Torah was death.  Many Jewish people chose martyrdom over defying God’s commandments.





Since the Greeks outlawed the study of the Torah, when someone
approached, the Torah was hidden and dreidels were taken out and
played like a game of chance.  Their oppressors thought the Jewish
people were playing a children's game when they were actually pursuing
the things of God.  The letters nun, gimmel, hey, shin stand for nes gadol
haya sham, meaning a great miracle happened there.  In Israel, however,
the letters are nun, gimmel, hey, pey meaning a great miracle happened
here (poh).


Antiochus also erected a statue of the Greek false god, Zeus, in the Holy of Holies!


As horrible as this was, it fulfilled the Hebrew Prophet Daniel's prophecy concerning the “abomination of desolation.”


The Prophet Daniel wrote: “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice.  Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.  With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him."  (Daniel 11:31–32)


A Jewish revolt against this assault on Judaism rose up led by the courageous freedom fighters called the Maccabees.


This name is an acronym standing for the Hebrew phrase Mi kamocha ba’elim Adonai, which means Who is like you, Lord, among the gods?





Delicious potato latkes served with generous dollops of sour cream and
applesauce—a real Hanukkah delight!


Although greatly outnumbered and overpowered, Yehudah (Judah) the Maccabee led his brothers and some other Jewish men in a valiant battle to drive out tens of thousands of Greeks and reclaim the Temple.


God helped this small but courageous group of men to win the victory in 163 BC, taking back Jerusalem and rededicating the Temple to God.


Jewish law requires the Temple Menorah to stay lit 24 hours a day using consecrated oil, but tradition has it that they only found a one-day supply of sealed, consecrated oil; however, the oil miraculously burned for a whole eight days—the time it took to prepare the sanctified oil for lighting the Menorah every day after.





The most common tradition at Hanukkah is lighting the hanukkiah.  It is
lit in remembrance of the eight days that the Golden Menorah in the
Holy Temple kept burning on a one-day supply of oil.




Yeshua: the Shamash Who Kindled the Light in Our Hearts and Lives


"For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."  (Mark 10:45)


Since Hanukkah is not a holiday ordained by God in the Torah, some wonder if Yeshua (Jesus) actually celebrated it.


The answer is a resounding yes!


“It was winter, and the Festival of the Dedication was being held in Jerusalem.  Yeshua was walking in the Temple precincts, in Solomon's Portico.  The Jews gathered round Him and asked: ‘How long must you keep us in suspense?  If you are the Messiah say so plainly.’”  (John 10:22–24)


Yeshua went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), and while in the Temple area He proclaimed, “I and the Father are one.”  (John 10:30)





Shamash: Yeshua the Messiah, like the shamash candle, kindles the
light in our hearts and brings us out of darkness into the light of life.


Just as the shamash on the hanukkiah is the servant candle that lights the other eight candles, Yeshua the Messiah came as a servant to be the light that shines in and through us to others.


John confirms that Yeshua is the light that darkness cannot overcome.


“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  (John 1:4–5)


Darkness has no power over the light.  When the lights are turned on, the darkness disappears immediately!  It’s never a struggle or a contest.  Light wins every time!


“When Yeshua spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”  (John 8:12)





Israeli children gather around the recreated
Temple Menorah, which is on display in
Jerusalem.  The Temple Institute created this
Menorah for use in the Third Temple, which will
inevitably by built.




The Significance of the Menorah


When the Holy Temple was restored during the time of the Maccabees, the act of re-lighting the Menorah in the Temple represented restoring God’s presence there.


The Temple was set up so that the Jewish people would have a place to come and meet with God.  And while the Menorah was placed inside the Holy Place, the Jewish sages teach that the windows in the Sanctuary walls were no ordinary windows:

“For what is normally considered the function of windows? To let the light in. But these windows were in order to let the light the out—to disseminate the spiritual light emanating from the Temple Menorah out into the world.  The Sanctuary's windows allowed the special ethereal light coming forth from the Menorah to burst out to the world from within the hallowed hall.”  (Temple Institute)


While the Bible makes it clear that the Temple will once again be rebuilt, today, those who know Yeshua do have spiritual light and are the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh).


“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”  (1 Corinthians 3:16)


Without the presence and Light of God shining on us, we are all lost.  Moreover, without the presence and Light of God shining in us and out from us, we cannot minister His Good News of saving grace to others.










R.E.C./Beit Tikkun Family,




During this joyous eight-day season of Hanukkah, is a time of rejoicing with the Good News that Yeshua is the Light of the World. This is also a time of Dedicating ourselves to the Lord and a time of giving to the Kingdom of God so His word will continue to reach the world! We want to thank everyone for your generous and faithful support, and we pray abundant blessings to all!


Click Here to give your Special Hanukkah Gift: http://www.recministries.org/online-giving.htm




"I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness."  (John 12:46)


"In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind."  (John 1:4)

  
From all of our ministry family...


We wish you a Very Happy Hanukkah and a Joyous Holiday Season filled with abundant blessings!


"The blessing of the Lord be on you; we bless you in the name of the LORD."  (Psalm 129:8)


Chag Sameach/Happy Holiday,
Rabbi/Pastor Hector Gomez


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 16th, 2014

Shalom R.E.C./Beit Tikkun,


“Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.  She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’”  (Matthew 9:20–21)


For those Jews who wish to stay as close to the performance of God’s commandments as possible, you might say that Judaism is a “fringe” religion, with four tassels (tzitzit) hanging from the fringes of our clothes. 


In Biblical times, in obedience to Numbers 15:38–41, men would actually attach the tassels to the four-cornered tallit (cloak or gown) that was customarily worn.


Originally, the tallit may have appeared as an outer garment bearing the fringes commanded by God.  It probably resembled the abayah, the blanket worn by Bedouin to protect them from the elements, which has black stripes at the ends.


It was finer, however, and similar also to the pallium (rectangular cloak worn by Greek and Roman men).


“Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: They shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments…  And this shall be tzitzit for you, and when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of God, and perform them.”  (Numbers 15:38–39)





A three-year-old boy wears a tallit katan under his shirt.


After the Jewish People were exiled from Israel, their style of dress was influenced by their Gentile neighbors, and the tallit became a garment worn for prayer instead of a garment worn daily.


Still, in terms of dress, assimilation has not been total. 


Today, one of the things that distinguishes Orthodox Jews from the secular or more moderate is their “unusual” manner of dress.


“In the small Galilee town in which I lived for close to 20 years, an Orthodox group that followed the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the Breslovim, slowly grew in numbers over the years and steadily outgrew the secular Zionists.  What distinguished the two groups from each other was not only their orientation toward being Jewish but also the way that they dress,” said Barry, a Bibles For Israel team member.





An ultra-Orthodox man remains fully dressed on a beach in Israel.


“The labor Zionists could be found walking the streets or riding their tractors to their fields dressed in typical work clothes, dark blue shirt and pants, and on their heads the Kova Tembel, the unique Israeli cloth or canvas hat with a broad rim to keep out the sun, worn by most farmers and field workers,” he continued.


“The Breslovim on the other hand, were dressed as if they had just walked out of an 18th century eastern European Jewish Shtetl, small villages in which Jews congregated up until the Holocaust," he said.


“Brezlovim are distinguished by their black hats and black suits and vests, which they wear even when the temperature reaches 120 F in the shade.  And no matter what the weather, they wear the long-sleeved white shirt.  


"Although you perhaps cannot see it, underneath their clothes is a poncho called the tallit katan with the tzitzit coming out from beneath the shirt,” he said.


Of course, other ultra-Orthodox also wear the tallit katan, and sometimes the tassels visibly dangle from under a regular button down shirt, sweater, and even a T-shirt.




The tzitzit of the tallit katans of two Jewish men are worn outside, while
the third man has tucked in his tzitzit.




Wearing the Tallit


"Make tassels for yourselves on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself."  (Deuteronomy 22:12)


Today, there are two ways in which observant Jewish men and boys keep the commandment to wear tzitzit.


The first is to wear the tallit gadol.  Worshipers wrap themselves in this large sheet-like prayer shawl during morning prayers.  It is usually made of linen.


The second way is to wear the tallit katan, which takes the form of a small poncho and is worn under the shirt, often over an undergarment so as not to actually touch the skin.


From the corners of these garments hang the tassels called tzitzit.


They serve as a constant reminder of the 613 commandments of the Torah, the Five Books of Moses. 





A Jewish father helps his son adjust his tallit gadol during the boy's bar
mitzvah at the Western (Wailing) Wall.


The wearing of tzitzit is only observed during daytime hours (with the exception of Yom Kippur [the Day of Atonement].


Because the Torah says, “And you will see [the tzitzit] and you will remember all the commandments of God,” it is believed that it is only proper to wear the tzitzit during the day, since they cannot be seen at night.


Therefore, nighttime clothing does not require tzitzit; although, we are not restricted from wearing them at night and some even sleep with them. 


The Kabbalah, a Jewish form of mystical teachings, describes the tallit as being a representation of God’s infinite transcendent light.


The fringes are seen as suggesting the Divine Light thought to permeate creation.  It is believed that by wearing the tallit gadol or the tallit katan, a Jewish person synthesizes these two elements and they become real in his life.  (Chabad)





A Jewish father pulls his sons (who are each
wearing a tallit katan) under his tallit gadol
during the Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall
in Jerusalem.


There is a special prayer that is said when putting on the tzitzit: 


Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melech ha'olam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al mitzvat tzitzit.


[Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the mitzvah of tzitzit.]


Those who wear the tallit while praying do not have to recite this prayer for the tzitzit since the prayer for wearing the tallit (general term for tallit gadol or large prayer shawl) covers the tzitzit as well.


Before the morning prayers, the tallit is put on before donning the tefillin (phylacteries).


When a man wraps the tallit around him, he says the following prayer:


Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheynu Melech ha'olam asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hitatef b'tzitzit.


[Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to enwrap ourselves with tzitzit.]


During two parts of the morning prayers, it is customary to hold the fringes of the tallit in the hands: during the Baruch She'amar and during the Shema.  The prayer book instructs regarding the proper time to do this.



A Jewish artisan who weaves tallitot ties the tzitzit to the four corners of
the garment.  (Israel photo gallery by Noam Chen)




Tallit Regulations


Tallitot have no specific size requirement, although the Talmud does say the tallit should be large enough to cover “a small child able to walk.”


A tallit may be created from an assortment of materials such as wool, silk, or rayon.


A variety of decorations and artistic patterns adorn the tallit gadol, although they all have a band sewn across the top called the atarah (crown).  This section may be decorated with silver squares or fancy embroidery.  Most atarah also contain the blessing the is recited when putting on the tallit. 


When one is called to the reading from the Torah, known as an aliyah or going up to the bimah, the platform from which the Torah is read, it is the custom to place a corner of the tallit on the first word to be read, and to then kiss the corner of the tallit that has touched the Torah scroll.


Because the tallit represents God’s commandments and the blessing for donning the tallit appears on atarah of the tallit, it is improper to wear the tallit into the bathroom since sacred writings cannot be brought into the bathroom.


In many synagogues, there is a tallit rack outside the bathroom. 


Jewish men are traditionally buried wrapped in their tallit.  When this is done, the atarah is removed and one of the fringes cut off.  This renders the tallit invalid and symbolizes that the dead are no longer required to keep the commandments. 





The black box of tefillin (which contains Scripture) and the tzitzit with the
tekhelet (blue thread) of the tallit.




The Blue Thread


Among the tzitzit, the Torah commands the inclusion of a blue thread called the tekhelet.


This is dyed with a special dye that comes from the blood of a shellfish called chilazon, which is found only in the Mediterranean Sea. 


When the Jews were scattered from Israel, they lost the use of this special thread for many centuries.


More recently, with the return of the Jews to Israel, some rabbis claim to have found this shellfish using its description in the Talmud, and now tallit can be found sporting the blue thread.  Other rabbis say, however, that the thread will not reappear until the coming of the Messiah.





Women are not permitted to wear tallitot at the Western Wall.




Do Women Wear Tallitot?


In general, women are exempted from wearing tzitziot (plural for tzitzit) and are discouraged from wearing either tzitziot or the larger tallit, although this is debated in the Talmud:


Menachot 43a: “The rabbis taught: all are obligated in the laws of tzitzit: priests, Levites, and Israelites, converts, women, and slaves.”  However, “Rabbi Shimon exempts women because it is a positive commandment limited by time and from all positive commandments limited by time, women are exempt.”  (Women of the Wall)


Many rabbis argue that this exemption underscores the fact that women have greater spiritual awareness and do not need tangible reminders to observe the mitzvot!


Still, this exemption has become a sore issue recently with the “Women at the Wall,” a multi-denominational group of women who struggle for equal rights of women to pray at the Western Wall.





A Woman of the Wall (WOW) wears a tallit and
tefillin as she prays.


As a group, they hold monthly meetings at the Western Wall on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of each new month of the Jewish calendar, in which they sing songs and read from the Torah.


They also wear religious garb including the tallit and tefillin (phylacteries) and the kippah or religious skullcap, all of which are usually worn exclusively by men and under the traditional rabbinic ruling described above.


Consequently, their presence at the Wall, although restricted to the Women’s section, has upset some members of the Orthodox Jewish community and actually led to protests and arrests of the women.


In May 2013, a judge ruled that a 2003 Israeli Supreme Court ruling that had prohibited women from carrying a Torah or wearing prayer shawls had been misinterpreted and that Women of the Wall prayer gatherings at the Wall should not be deemed illegal.





Board member Rachel Cohen Yeshurun (left) and director Lesley Sachs,
of the Women of the Wall, were detained by police in 2012 for wearing
tallitot at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem.


The movement among women to wear the tallit is not new and not limited to Israel.


“I first became aware of this trend among women to dress in religious garb and wear tefillin when in the early 1980s while living in Cincinnati Ohio I dropped by the Reform rabbinical seminary, the Hebrew Union College [HUC], to join in the customary mid-morning prayers,” Barry said.


“Twenty years earlier as a rabbinical student at HUC, I had regularly attended these mid-morning prayer sessions which were more or less required as a part of the curriculum," he said.  "I was at first surprised to see that what had once appeared to be an almost church-like chapel complete with wooden pews and an organ was now bereft of any furniture, but the cold wooden floor was now covered with a thick rug.


“Instead of the closely packed sanctuary, I witnessed a handful of students, many of whom were women (women rabbinical students were first introduced in the mid-60s) praying in Hebrew the Shacharit (morning prayers).


“The amazing thing, at least to me, was that the male students wore no religious apparel while the female students were wrapped in the tallit gadol and wearing tefillin (phylacteries) and kippot. The male students looked completely secular while the female students looked like Orthodox Jews, but not Orthodox women, rather like Orthodox men.”





A Jewish girl has her Bat Mitzvah in Jerusalem near the Western Wall.


As the Reform movement became increasingly popular in Israel, and since a healthy percentage of Reform rabbis are women, both in Israel and in the US, this desire to wear traditional garments during worship, although not a Scriptural or rabbinic requirement, also spread to women members of the Conservative and even Orthodox (modern Orthodox) movements in Israel, resulting in the creation of Women at the Wall.


A recent poll reported in the Israeli newspaper HaAretz indicated that as many as half of the Israeli public support the efforts of this organization, and that men (51.5%) are more inclined to support the women’s prayer group than women (46%).


Nevertheless, although they have the support of large American non-Orthodox denominations, and the backing of the Israeli government, the Rabbi of the Western Wall, who is responsible for keeping order at the Wall, continues to view their presence as a provocation. 





Women of the Wall praying and reading Torah at their monthly Rosh
Chodesh (new moon, literally head of the new [month]) service.




Persecution and Outward Symbols of Jewish Identity


Although Jews customarily wear the tzitzit as a sign of pride, increasingly Jews in Europe actually fear being identified as Jews in public.


Moreover, around the world at Jewish houses of worship and other establishments, there is an increased necessity for armed guards to protect Jewish worshipers and the buildings themselves.


In fact, as this is being written, a guard at a synagogue in Copenhagen was murdered.  The guard, 38-year-old Dan Uzan, a member of the congregation, sacrificed his life to protect others who were attending a bar mitzvah at Copenhagen’s Krystagade Synagogue.  (Times of Israel)


Copenhagen Rabbi Yitzchok Loewenthal, following the attack, said that members of the Danish capital’s Jewish community are now afraid to leave their homes.  (Times of Israel)


The killing once again prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call on the Jews of Europe to immigrate to the safety of Israel.





A Jewish man walks home from morning prayers in Israel.  (Flickr photo
by Avital Pinnick)


In Israel, it is natural to walk to and from the synagogue wrapped in a tallit gadol as if warding off the elements.


Before the recent European attacks on Jewish institutions, between one-fifth and one-third of Jews living in Europe reported being afraid to wear even a kippah in public, let alone the tallit.  Now it is probably closer to 100 percent. 


It increasingly seems that very few countries outside of Israel are safe for Jews, and most Jews fear being identified as Jews.


Today, as Islamic communities grow in size and anti-Israel feelings become increasing viral even in the United States, one might question the safety of wearing Jewish garb such as a kippah or tallit in public in these traditionally hospitable nations. 


As we continue to bring the Good News of Yeshua to our community and the world through our live streaming, please join with us as we plant seeds and reap a harvest during these troubled last days.  We cannot do this vital work without your help.


Click Here: http://www.recministries.org/online-giving.htm


We want to thank you for your prayers and your support!


In His Service,
Rabbi/Pastor Hector Gomez


"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field."  (Luke 10:2)
 
"Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge Him.  As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."  (Hosea 6:3)
 


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 11th, 2014

Vayeshev (He Continued Living)
Genesis 37:1-40:23
Amos 2:6-3:8
Acts 7:9-16


The Making of a Family

So if you were allowed to have the title of "God for the Day" and were given the task of planning from the heavens, an earthly family, just how would you go about that task.

Maybe here is what you would plan: First you would find a man living in a pagan land whose wife was barren. You would invite him to go to a land you are promising, but you don't tell him where the land is until he commits. He would go with his barren wife and eventually at age 100, her being a young 90, they would have a child who you would ask the guy to sacrifice to you, just to prove his devotion. After the test you would have the man's servant go back to a foreign land to find a wife for the son, but she would be found to be barren also. For time sake you would not wait till they were 100 or so, but would instead have the husband pray for her and in answering that prayer give her twins, one of which would even from the womb try to kill the other. You would plan to have one of the boys deceive the other, which would send the whole family into a near murder experience to the point that the boy who has a heart toward you has to flee from his family for about 20 years, during this time marrying two women. From these two women and their handmaidens you would bring forth 12 sons and create the greatest comedy/soap opera ever written.

Now, just to make this all interesting, you would have the 12 boys in constant struggle with each other caused by favoritism of their father. One would become a spoiled brat who would tell of his dreams of the whole family bowing to him. This scenario would cause the favorite son's brothers to seek to kill him. One of the boys would step in and save his life by wanting to make a profit off the deal, so he would be sold to slavery.

This is where you would get creative. You would send the brat son to a foreign land to learn a bit of humility. To teach this lesson, you would cater to his ego and right from the start make him a great man in the country. You would then frame him with someone else's wife, pulling the rug of pride out from under him and have him thrown in a prison cell to contemplate his life. While in prison you would give him just enough favor to keep him comfortable, then bring him back to the subject of dreams by meeting a couple of men who he thought would be his immediate ticket to freedom, only to spend some more time alone considering the true purpose of dreams.

Now for the test. Please answer the following multiple choice question.

A. This is exactly the way I would have planned this out to begin and build a family. I did not see any surprises here.
B. "God is smarter than I am!"

If you answered "A" you can stop reading now. You have life all figured out and, move over Joseph, you are in line to take over as the most arrogant brat who ever lived on planet earth.

If you answered "B" there is still hope for you as you have come to the place in life of understanding His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are much more wondrous than we could ever consider.

So what is the point you may ask? Good question.

In the above summary of life between Abram and part of the life of Joseph, we see just how incredible the plans of Yahweh really are. We see the twists and turns of a story line more fascinating than any mystery novel ever written. We see Him working through His creation in ways too marvelous for us to comprehend, much less for us to figure out. So with this thought, what makes people think they are going to figure it out from where we are in time to the end? Of course we today have the whole Book. We are able to read the beginning and the end. We have the prophets and greater understanding gained from our vast references. Really?

Truth is, there was a time in my life in which I thought I had it all figured out just like many of you did. We knew what each trumpet and bowl stood for. We had the beast of Daniel all figured out right down to his belly button, but then HaShem (Yahweh our God) threw us curve balls in history and all our puzzle pieces no longer fit like we thought they would.

Now please understand what I am about to say. I am not saying we do not study the prophecies we have been given today, but what if instead of using them to "Figure out the future," we instead used them to guide and enhance our daily walk. What if we began to use prophecy, not to show others how smart we are, but rather how wonderful He is. Jacob is actually a good role model for us in this area. In Gen 37:11, we read his response to one of Joseph's dreams. While the brothers hated Joseph for the dream, Jacob "Kept the matter in mind." In Hebrew it states he "Shamar HaDavar." This can be translated to mean he observed a fragment of prophecy and hid it in his heart. You may remember a young Hebrew girl named Miriam who did the same thing around 2000 years ago.

Each person we read about in Scripture plays a great role in building a family for HaShem. I imagine that whenever they get a chance to read the book which was their life, they are going to be very surprised at how their lives were interwoven into the puzzle called Israel's story. I am sure the same surprise will be in store for each of us as we will one day be amazed at how seemingly insignificant events of our lives were also filled with great meaning. So maybe it would be best for us if instead of always focusing on the puzzle, we focused on living out our puzzle piece.



by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 11th, 2014

Being Hidden: The Makings of a Spiritual Sniper"
Sniper: A skilled military shooter detailed to spot and pick off enemy soldiers from a concealed place.
Does it seem like you are in a hidden place with darkness all around you? And is the enemy breathing down your neck? Be encouraged. You may have the makings of a spiritual sniper.
Snipers are concealed by darkness in the time of war, close to enemy territory. If you can't see daylight, you may be right on schedule. Darkness brings out a sniper's full potential.
"We Own The Night!" is their motto.
Not many of God's people can stand being hidden for long periods of time. It's a lonely, dark place – but you are not alone. God is with you, and He's creating something powerful out of you. The Lord is saying to many:
"The enemy will soon know why you haven't been heard from as of yet. He will soon wonder where you came from. Treasure your hiddenness. It's your advantage. And don't fear the darkness. Your hardships and enemies have come to train you. Don't go AWOL! The moment you were born for is coming. Your light will pierce darkness. My spiritual snipers are coming forth in this season of war."
Communication Is a Must In Your Hiddenness
Although hidden, you must have clear communication with God and your comrades. You must learn the weapon of silence to hear. Silence makes the enemy wonder what you are up to while God is giving you strategy. Silence enables you to hear not only God's still small voice but also the enemy's next plan of attack.
I sense the Lord saying, "I'm corporately anointing your ears to hear and eyes to see what no other generation has ever heard or seen for this end time spiritual war. Keep in communication with one another. At times your comrades will be your eyes and ears. It's the lifeline to win. Communicate even if you don't agree. Communicate until you do. You are a team, and no one goes anywhere without each other. A team that can move as one is a dominating force. Laying down your life for each other is not a question. You are no longer considered your own."
Maneuvering Offensively
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been suffering violence, and the violent have been seizing it by force. Matthew 11:12
A former sniper shared with me how he was sent ahead of his troop and how he concealed himself close to the enemy. He said, "A vacant building or any forsaken covering gave me an edge for my deadly aim." He also said, "I became a terror to the terrorists. I could paralyze a large troop with one fatal shot to their comrades. Terror would grip them, for they didn't know where I was. At times I shot from a window of a forsaken building and then ran. If they suspected where I was they would immediately launch heavy artillery into that place. Bounties were placed on my head."
I asked him, "Were you afraid of dying?" He said, "No, I died when I left home. If I had any fear in me, I wouldn't have survived what I went through."
His words, "I died when I left home," pierced me. I wonder how many of us realize the day we gave our life to Yeshua Messiah was the day we died to ourselves, and He now lives in us. "It is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). And Yeshua is never afraid. Having been through much warfare myself, I'm learning when I feel intimidated by the enemy, the truth is: that's really when he is terrified of me. So I move beyond what intimidates me and find sweet victory.
Staying Focused
Remember the Biblical Law: “whatever has your focus masters you!” So our focus should be on Yeshua and His word!
Many will see other comrades being elevated this season. Don't be jealous or envious. They are being called to the front line where increased danger lies. Their advancement is your protection. It's a most dangerous time to compare ourselves with one another. Some will think that their strong anointing that's promoting them lessens their need for their comrades or those in authority over them. It actually increases your need for them.
You may seem to be ahead of them in rank, but they are behind you to cover your back. If left alone with our increased anointing’s, we become dangerous to ourselves and others. This often results in "friendly fire." We need our comrades to keep speaking into our lives to adjust and sharpen our spiritual gifts and weapons to stay effective. Our training never ends. God will always have someone over us to learn from and someone under us to teach what we have learned.
Biblical "Sniper" Weapons
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
Throughout history snipers rise from obscurity to win wars. One person stands out to me as the greatest sniper in the Bible: David, a shepherd boy, hidden in the hillsides of Judea. Trained by a bear and a lion, he makes his debut with a giant named Goliath. David becomes a sniper in the eyes of the Philistine army as he takes out Goliath with a slingshot and stone. He knew that giant would look good on his resume. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. Psalm 144:1
David was also a warrior as a scribe. His writings still pierce the darkness in our lives today. The Lord is releasing a scribe anointing upon many for new songs, books, and movies to be written to dismantle powers of darkness upon the earth. Pick up your pen and fight!
David's greatest weapon in his arsenal was worship. David was a full-time worshiper and part-time shepherd. He worshiped in secret, and God met him on the battlefield. Worship didn't keep David away from trouble. Worship brought God down into the troubles, and God never lost a battle.
In the wars that rage against us today, our greatest weapon is still to worship God in the midst of chaos. Through worship, Heaven comes and fills us with His love and presence, which can touch our worst enemies to surrender all to Yeshua. Loving our enemies keeps them from getting inside of us. We will be facing giants in the days to come. Don't leave home without your slingshot. Remember, as a Believer, Yeshua lives in you, and He is not afraid. Besides, you died when you left home.
Welcome, Sniper.


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 11th, 2014

USES FOR COLLOIDAL SILVER....
ORDER MY STEPS, YESHUA....


Uses for Colloidal Silver    
While you can use colloidal silver for many other conditions, here are some of the most common uses.
Eye Infection - In case of pink eye or conjunctivitis, place one or two drops in the eye ever couple of hours
Ear infection - Use several drops or more in the ear every few hours
Nasal Infection - Spray or use several drops or more as needed in each nostril every few hours
Mouth ulcers and gum infections - Use one to two teaspoons inside mouth, swish for one to two minutes then swallow
Colds and Flu- Use one to two teaspoons, place in mouth and absorb sublingually under the tongue. Repeat every few hours. Start early to help avert full-blown illness.
Sore throat and streph Gargle with one to two teaspoons for one-minute, every two hours, then swallow
Cuts, scrapes, mild burns, and abrasions - Apply directly to area or via a band-aid or gauze. Change covering and reapply several time a day.
Urinary tract infections- Oral dosage is one tablespoon taken 3 times daily. Most users report noticeable improvement within two to three days, with the infection generally gone in five to seven days.
Yeast infections- Take a teaspoon every 3-4 hours for up to one month.
Traveling- Take a teaspoon, absorbed sublingually, every few hours.
A FEW UNIQUE PLUS TRADITIONAL USES FOR COLLOIDAL SILVER
When you control a source of penny's-per-gallon make-it-yourself high concentration silver colloid,you can use it for hundreds of health improvement applications. A few are suggested here. 
Add to suspected drinking water when traveling or camping. 
Silver-sprayed burns heal rapidly without scarring. 
Safely sterilize anything from toothbrushes to surgical instruments. 
Use topically on cuts, wounds, abrasions, rashes, sunburn, insect bites, razor nicks and bandages.
Spray on garbage to prevent decay odors. 
Mist kitchen sponges, towels, cutting boards to eliminate E. Coli and salmonella bacteria to prevent food poisoning and gastrointestinal inflammation.
Add when canning, preserving or bottling. 
Use like peroxide on zits and acne. 
Add to juices and milk to prevent spoiling, fermenting, deteriorating, clabbering or curdling. 
Spray in shoes and between toes to stop most skin itch, athletes foot and fungi.
Diminish dandruff, psoriasis, skin rashes, etc. 

Add to bath water, gargle, douches, colon irrigation, nasal spray and dental water-pic solutions.
Cuts downtime dramatically from colds, flu, pneumonia, staph, strep, respiratory infections and rhino viruses. 
Skin itch, eye irritation or infection (dilute a small amount with an equal amount of distilled water for eye use) and ear infections (warm slightly first), some moles and warts vanish (put on band aid pad and wear on wart overnight each night until gone). 
Use with Q-tips on fingernail, toenail, and ear fungi. 
Can impede tooth decay and bad breath. 
Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, Colloidal Silver never permits strain-resistant pathogens to evolve.
Toothaches, mouth sores, bacterial irritations are diminished. 
Soak dentures.
Spray refrigerator, freezer and food storage bin interiors. 
Mix in postage stamp, envelope, and tape moistening wells, paint and paste pots to prevent bacterial growth, odors, spoiling or souring. 
Add to water-based paints, wallpaper paste, dishwater, cleaning and mopping solutions, etc. 
Spray pet bedding and let dry.
Spray on top of contents of opened jam, jelly, and condiment containers and inside lids before replacing.
Mix a little in pet water, birdbaths, cut flower vases. 
Add to swamp cooler water. 
Spray air conditioner filters after cleaning. 
Swab air ducts and vents to prevent breeding sites for germs. 
Use routinely in laundry final rinse water and always before packing away seasonal clothes. 
Damp clothes or towels and washcloths will not sour or mildew.
Eliminate unwanted microorganisms in planter soils and hydroponics systems. 
Spray plant foliage to stop fungi, molds, rot, and most plant diseases. 
Silver is an excellent plant-growth stimulator.
Treat pools, fountains, humidifiers, Jacuzzis, hot tubs, baths, dishwashers, re-circulating cooling tower water, gymnasium foot dips, and bath and shower mats.
Spray inside shoes, watch bands and gloves and under fingernails periodically. 
Treat shower stalls, tubs, fonts, animal watering troughs, shavers to avoid trading germs. 
Rinse fruit and vegetables before storing or using. 
Put in cooking water. 
Add to human and animal shampoos and they become disinfectants. Prevent carpets, drapes and wallpaper from mildewing.
Wipe telephone mouthpieces, pipe stems, headphones, hearing aids, eyeglass frames, hairbrushes, combs, loof as.
Excellent for diapers and diaper rash. 
Do toilet seats, bowls, tile floors, sinks, urinals, door knobs. 
Kills persistent odors. 
Rinse invalid's pillowcases, sheets, towels and bedclothes. 
There are literally thousands of other essential uses for this odorless, nearly tasteless and colorless, totally benign, powerful, non-toxic disinfectant and healing agent.
You'll find that a spray or misting bottle of Colloidal Silver solution may be the most useful
health enhancement tool in your environment. 
Dosage:
Some people, when first ingesting Colloidal Silver, have the experience that is called the Herxheimer effect. 
This experience is a result of the silver very efficiently killing off too many pathogens too fast for the body to dispose of through the normal eliminative organs. 
This forces the body to utilize the secondary eliminative organs: the lungs, sinuses and skin. 
Sometimes a new Colloidal Silver user who ingests Colloidal Silver for the first time will experience what feels like a cold or the flu (or diarrhea). This can be stopped by cutting back on the dosage (or completely abstaining for a day or so), or prevented by starting with a small dose (1/4 to 1 teaspoon twice a day) and gradually increasing the dosage. 
Some people even find they need to start off at first with just a few drops.
People who are trying to self-treat a significant health condition (like asthma, or an internal infection) may need to work up to fairly large quantities each day (4 to 6 oz 2-3 times per day) before they see an improvement.



by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 11th, 2014

Hanukkah
December 8, 2014
Kislev 24th until Tevet 2nd.
The first day of Hanukkah falls on Dec. 17th this Year, Come Celebrate with us a Special Hanukkah Shabbat Service Dec. 20th at 5PM!  
  The Feast of Dedication” or Hanukkah, — you will not find this Holiday in Lev. 23 with the seven Feasts of the Lord. But we find it in John 10:22 and other places as well. I think it may be necessary to do a little history here before going on; this will not be a history lesson, just a little background.
The time was around 167 BC or, if you’re Jewish–BCE.  Prior to this date a young ruler named Alexander the Great, ruled the entire ancient world.  This period of time is referred to as “the Hellenistic period” (Greeks).  His untimely death caused a power struggle and four of his generals split up the kingdom.  The one that ended up with Israel was Antiochus IV.  This new Ruler of Israel commanded everyone to convert to Hellenism (Greek Mythology) and the Greek values that he held. Many did, even many of the Jews of the land because they found it to be a very civilized way of life.
But, there were those Jews who held close to the Torah and God’s way of worship and refused to embrace Hellenism. In fact, Antiochus gave the Jews an ultimatum, to either give up their distinctive customs, such as worshiping on the Sabbath (Saturday), Circumcision, and Kosher Laws, or die.
One of the first things Antiochus did was to desecrate the Holy Temple.  He ordered the utensils, such as the Menorah, Altar, and Table to be defiled and torn down.  Then to be certain that he had accomplished his job, he ordered a pig to be sacrificed on the holy altar. After doing all of that, he order that a Greek god Zeus be worshiped in the Temple.
When Antiochus heard that the people were murmuring and talking about revolt against him, he marched his troops to a town in the foothills called Modi’in.  His plan was to erect a false god in the city and force the people to worship it.  Modi’in was the home of a priest named Mattathias who had five sons.  He and his sons revolted and killed the soldiers and began the revolt against this evil ruler.  One of Mattathias’s sons was Judah, and he became the new leader and was quickly nicknamed “Maccabee” (the Hammer in Hebrew).  To bring this piece of history to a close we will just report that Maccabee and his men defeated the Greek armies and got rid of Antiochus.
The Maccabees now faced the task of restoring the Temple for Jewish worship to their Holy God.  They cleansed the Temple and restored the furnishings.  There was special attention given to the Menorah, for it symbolized the Light of God.  They restored it and when they went to light it, they found there was a problem.  This Menorah could only be used with special oil, and it took eight days to prepare such oil.  They found enough of this special oil to burn only one day.  To celebrate the victory of the battle fought for their religious liberty, they decided to light the Menorah anyway and allow the light of God to shine forth with its glory, even if but for a day.  But God gave them a miracle, and the oil lasted eight days, until the new oil was made ready.  So today we have the eight days of the Feast of Dedication “Hanukkah.”  It is also why you will see a nine branch Menorah instead of seven in most Jewish homes.  It represents the miracle of the eight days the oil burned; the ninth branch (in the center) is the Shamash (Servant Lamp), which represents the Messiah.
There are many customs and traditions that brings one closer to God and understanding of His greatness associated with this holiday, but I want to keep this as short as possible.  Each night for eight nights a candle is lighted. The Shamash (the center) is always lit first, for it is from the Messiah that all light flows.  It is then used to light each candle for the eight nights.  Blessing is said and songs about Hanukkah sung. Gifts are given to the children each of the eight nights.  During the lighting of the Shamash and the other candles are lit with the Shamash, the following blessings are said. I will try to write the Hebrew in English letters for you, I hope I do it correctly.
A little advice in lighting the candles, you place them in the Menorah from right to left, but you light them with the Shamash  from left to right.
BARUKH ATAH ADONAI ELOHENU MELEKH HA-OLAM, ASHER KIDSHANU B’MITZVOHTAV L’HADLEEK NER, SHEL HANUKKAH.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has set us apart by your commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of Hanukkah.
So after lighting the candles and singing the Hanukkah songs, you set down for a festive meal, each night for eight nights.
So I will conclude with one my favorite Jewish recipe for “Latkes” or to put it more simply “Potato Pancakes.”
Ingredients:
2      Eggs
3      Cups grated, drained potatoes
4      Tbls. Grated onion
¼ tsp. Pepper
2      Tbls. Cracker or matzah meal
½ cup oil or butter
Directions:
Beat the eggs and add the potatoes, onions, salt (to taste), pepper, and meal. Heat half the oil or butter in a frying pan and drop the potato mixture into it by tablespoon.  Fry until browned on both sides. Keep pancakes hot until all are fried and add more oil or butter as required. Serve with Applesauce or sour cream. Serves 8.
Shalom, and Hag Same’ach, (Happy Holiday)
 

by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 8th, 2014

So, What Should Be Our Focus This December?
The verse for the month is Philippians 3:13: "Brethren, I do not count myself as having apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead."
We must now shift out of the November focus of pursuing to recover our losses ("November's Grace: Pursue, Overtake, Recover All, and Spoil the Enemy!"). It would not be healthy to stay in a self-absorbed mode of considering our losses.
We thank Him for the many aspects of recovery we experienced, but now we must give Him any losses or loose ends that remain and "forget those things which are behind" and begin to reach forward "to those things which are ahead."
As we stay in the hopeful state that we gained in November, we can trust God with the results that have not yet changed and get our eyes off of ourselves. This is a month to keep our eyes first on Jesus as He is both the cause and the flood water itself that is coming in. We must begin preparing ourselves to respond to His arising around us and expect new options that we have not been considering.
In my previous dream on flooding, one phenomenon of it was that the streets were filled with rushing waters that carried many very large, upside-down, squirming pigs. The only thing we needed to watch out for was being swept out by these oversized pigs. There is an exposure of the "underbelly" of societal pigs [also known as those things that are UNCLEAN before the Lord] that has presently begun and will continue. This is a reality we must be prepared for, and we must make sure not to get knocked over by these exposures of that which has been hidden. Exposure is not the theme of this season, but it will be the accompanying phenomenon of the river of God rising in our midst.
Here I repeat the song I was singing in my previous dream: "A river will rise, a mountain will move, God's people will arise – and all will be new." Get ready, get ready, get ready.


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 3rd, 2014

Hanukkah 2014 – A Gateway to Miracles"
"Then the Kingdom of Heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
"And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
"Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming."
Along with the verses from Matthew 25, I have continually been impressed with verses of Scripture and words from the Lord, about not trusting in the strength of man, but trusting in the strong arm of the Lord to do what needs to be accomplished. One of the key passages He has been speaking to me is Psalm 147:10-11:
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
He has also focused my attention on Zechariah 4:6:

Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, "This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' saith the LORD of hosts.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev on the Jewish calendar. It is based on two miracles: a great Jewish military victory and a miraculous supply of oil for the Temple.
Although Hanukkah celebrates military victory—a desperately outnumbered group of Jewish guerilla fighters known as the Macabees triumphed against mighty Greek-Syrian invaders in the second century B.C.—the holiday's major symbol is the menorah, a reminder of the "miracle of the oil". After driving their oppressors out of Jerusalem, the Jews began the process of cleansing the Second Temple, since it had been desecrated by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
While seeking to rebuild the altar and light its menorah, the Jews discovered only one flask of untainted oil for the eternal lamp—just enough to keep it burning for one day. But somehow, the flames continued to burn eight days and nights until more oil could be procured from afar. That miracle is the reason we celebrate Hanukkah for eight days, and also why Hanukkah is called the Festival of Lights.
The verse from Zechariah 4:6 is inscribed upon the menorah in Jerusalem that stands across from the Knesset, Israel's parliament. It serves to remind us not only of military victory, but of the ultimate triumph of God and the spiritual victory of the Jews over their oppressors.
Supernatural Miracles Will Bring Natural Supply
As I sought the Lord for His interpretation of the vision, I felt He gave me the understanding that as we pass into the season of Hanukkah, we will be passing through a gateway in the spirit and stepping upon a path leading us into a time of miracles and victories.
I sense that we will see supernatural miracles that bring natural supply. We will be ushered into a time of miracles in the earthly realm that bring victory over large enemy forces that have intimidated and oppressed God's people for too long.
I hear God saying, "Enough!" Though we may appear outnumbered by these oppressive armies, as we keep the oil of prayer and worship burning and put our trust in the fear of the Lord, He will give victory as He did during the Maccabean Revolt so many years ago.
As I mentioned, in the vision I saw the number 16 right after seeing the gates fashioned like two menorahs. This year, Hanukkah begins December 16th and ends December 24th—Christmas Eve. It is interesting that Hanukkah falls on the eight days leading up to where many Christians celebrate the birth of Christ which Biblically Yeshua was born during the Feast of Tabernacles and not in December. I believe that we are entering a season leading to the time that the veil will be removed from the eyes of many Christians and the Jewish people so that they can see their Savior through their Hebrew eyes (see 2 Corinthians 3:13-16, Romans 11:25-32).

Additionally, the menorahs on the two gates each contained eight candles, for a total of 16. Biblically, the number sixteen is symbolic of love. Sixteen of the names and titles for God in the Old Testament especially signify His constant, never-ending love for the children of Israel.
In the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 lists "sixteen qualities of God's love" that Paul informs us we should have as well:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Love is Your Mission!
I believe the next eight years we will see an extraordinary number of Jewish men and woman coming to the awareness of the Savior as the Church exhibits the true meaning of love described in First Corinthians. We will love them with the love that God Himself possesses. This Hanukkah season will bring us into a new beginning, where the character of the Father is seen and His true love is displayed in Israel and throughout the nations, like a menorah placed in a window for all who pass by to see.
The modern menorah is a candelabrum of eight branches, with a ninth holder placed higher in the middle. It is used to light the eight candles on either side. This is a picture of Jesus, our ninth candle, who will light the next eight years with miraculous victories and miraculous supply.
I hear the words: "Worship is your passport through the days ahead, with faith as your currency and love as your mission."
Love is your mission!
This is a time to rejoice. Though the world is reporting unthinkable oppression and horrific acts of terror that seem unimaginable, God is proclaiming a different report. He is about to bare His mighty right arm as His people surrender to His strength and live in the fear of the Lord, rather than fear the strength of terrible armies. We are entering a time of great victory and great miracles.
REJOICE!!! This is a time to worship and pray and fill your lamps with oil. It is a time to trust, to dwell safely in the fear of the Lord, and let go of doubt and every bad report that has come your way. The gates are about to open and the Father of Lights will shine and dispel the darkness. A vast Heavenly army has come to fight for His people. Amen!



by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 2nd, 2014

Returning To the Stronghold of Hope
Over the years you will find that the Holy Spirit emphasizes different themes of God's Word to His people. Over the past few decades one of the truths being restored to the Body of Christ has been the "word of faith." In more recent years, the Holy Spirit has been highlighting the message of "hope."
In my own journey over the past decade, I have given myself to learning about hope. One of my goals in the next few years is to compose a book called Finding Hope to help many people process difficult times.
Some Definitions
According to Webster's Dictionary, hope is defined as 1) to cherish a desire with expectation of fulfillment, 2) to long with expectation of fulfillment. The Hebrew Word lists hope as Tikvah, Strongs #8615 tiqvah tik-vaw': literally, a cord (as an attachment; also figuratively, expectancy:--expectation ((-ted)), hope, live, thing that I long for and "the favorable and confident expectation, the happy anticipation of good."
In my recent search, the Holy Spirit has directed me to the following as primary verses on the subject of hope.
Primary Scripture Verses
Zechariah 9:12 Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; this very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of thing hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Colossians 1:27 ...God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles, which is Yeshua Messiah in you, the hope of glory.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 ...as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
Before we can ever walk in true Biblical faith, it is imperative that we first be a people of "hope," possessing a happy anticipation that something good is about to happen. The helmet of hope must be placed upon our minds, filtering what we hear and what we think, resulting in a healthy mental attitude and perspective in life.
Hope is a positive stronghold. We know about the negative effects of ungodly beliefs, but we must not end there. We must replace these old thought patterns with fresh strongholds impregnated with life that are a place of safety and well-being. One of these godly belief patterns is called the "stronghold of hope." We must put our helmets of salvation back on and refuse the bombardment of negativity.
Frankly, I have to practice this every day. I declare that something good is just about to happen. I pronounce that my joy is not dependent upon my external circumstances. I run to the enjoyable place that God is good all the time and His mercies endure forever!
• Two Pictures of Hope from Hebrews 6:17-20:
In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

• Two Pictures of Hope Portrayed:
1. Hope is a place of refuge, like the cities of refuge in the Old Testament, where we run to and find safety and protection.
2. Hope is an anchor of the soul (mind, will, and emotions). A ship passes its anchor through the unstable element of water into the stable element of rock. The world in which we live is like the water – unstable, impermanent, insecure, ever-changing in its form. But our hope in Yeshua Messiah is an anchor that passes out of eternity into time and fastens us to our foundation of bedrock below – to the "Rock of Ages."
Ways to Obtain Hope
1. Be a person of the Word of God! Romans 15:4 ...that through the perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
2. Lamentations 3:21-23 This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul. "Therefore, I have hope in Him!"
3. Romans 15:13 ...[Through faith] the power of the Holy Spirit [enables us to] abound in hope.
Yes, we have a sure expectation of unending ages of glory in the presence of the Lord. But we do not have to wait till we arrive in Heaven – we get to bring Heaven to earth. Let us return to the Stronghold of Hope and receive a double portion from the Lord! I will hope in Adonai my Lord!
In Yeshua Messiah’s Name! Amen and Amen!
Blessings to each of you!


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 2nd, 2014

7-STEP PRAYER TO  OVERCOME FEAR OR ANYTHING ATTACK OF THE ENEMY   


1. NAME THE FEAR: Take notice of your thoughts or thought patterns and try to name the fear behind them, be specific (for  example, fear of abandonment, authority, loneliness, being controlled, being shamed, crAiticism, death, humiliation, losing a loved one,  rejection, sex, suffering, illnesses, failure, etc.). Ask the Lord.  


2. CONFESS: Tell the Lord that you have allowed this fear into your life and confess it.                                                                                                                                  


 3. REPENT: Tell Jesus that you are sorry and ask for forgiveness; you may also need to forgive yourself.


 4. CANCEL SATAN’S AUTHORITY: This takes away the authority you gave him (whether conscious or subconscious) to  be in this area.  


5. INVITE YESHUA MESSIAH TO TAKE AUTHORITY IN THIS AREA: Again, name the fear and invite Jesus into this area.  


6. INVITE THE HOLY SPIRIT INTO THIS AREA: The Holy Spirit will speak truth and help heal this area but will never  go against your will.  


7. LISTEN TO THE LORD: Ask the Lord to speak his words of truth.


 DEUTERONOMY Chapter 31:6 Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who  marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you


PSALMS Chapter 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I  be afraid?


PSALMS Chapter 118:6 The LORD is with me; I am not afraid; what can mortals do against me?


PROVERBS Chapter 3:25-26 Do not be afraid of sudden terror, of the ruin of the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your  confidence, and will keep your foot from the snare.


PROVERBS Chapter 29:25 Fear of others becomes a snare, but the one who trusts in the LORD is safe.


ISAIAH Chapter 41:10 Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you  with my victorious right hand.


Sample Prayer:


God of Abraham, Isaac & Israel, Heavenly Father In Yeshua Messiah’s Name,


I confess that I have allowed (name the fear) in my life. I repent and choose to forgive myself for allowing this (name the fear)  in my life and release myself from this fear.


In the name of Yeshua who is both human and divine, and by the power of His blood, I cancel all of  Satan’s authority over me in this area of (name the fear).


Satan get out! In the name of Yeshua Messiah I command this (name the fear) to go.


I invite  Yeshua My Messiah  to take authority in this area (name the fear).


Holy Spirit, I invite you into my heart to heal this area of fear emotionally, physically, and  spiritually.  Yeshua Thank you Setting me free!


Father, speak your words of truth to me about this situation (listen to the Lord).


Adonai, fill that void with your love and  seal it with the blood of Yeshua My Messiah.


In Yeshua Messiah’s Name! Amen.


by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 2nd, 2014

Choices Leading to Paths
"Seek Me diligently so that in these next two months the necessary provisions will be made to properly prepare you for 2015. As you advance, you will begin to see things clearly. You will see the need to make adjustments concerning what you previously desired to do versus what is My will for your life. For the choices you have made and will make concerning the way I have prepared for you will bring you to a path that leads you further toward or away from your destiny.
"Don't allow your flesh to forfeit what I have called you to be. For I am divinely transferring a fresh measure of grace into your life. A grace to fully understand that which has been placed before you. Your perception will connect you with others who are seeking the same direction and truth. It is time to see what is important as you harken diligently to My voice.
"Visions, patterns, and plans that I released to you in prayer are coming to life in this hour. That which you could not discern nor comprehend before will be revealed to you in ways you can easily decipher. While walking in this new level of comprehension, allow a new determination to become the catalyst that launches you forward. There is much you can accomplish, but more can be accomplished by My hand. Know that manifestation will come out of the now and into this new hour."
The New and Now
This is the season of the New! "New-vember" (not November) is how it was spoken to me.
This is the season of the new. This month will be new because we will find that in the now, new things are being ushered in according to the will of God. These things are pouring out of Heaven and invading our now.
"The 'nos' of the past and that which has become old and out of season will submit and give way to the new. Mindsets and hearts needed to be changed, and I have used that which was perceived as delay to prepare you for the now. In order to preserve new wine, the wineskin must be made new. The patterns haven't changed, but the hour and the way in which it will be embraced by My people is new. Timing will have a great part to play in the implementation of the Kingdom advancement.
"Behold I am doing a new thing that will tear down the old religious systems, because they will be dismantled in order for the fresh winds to blow and new structures to be established. Watch what will be caught and watch what will be taught in this hour."
We are becoming who and what we are to become. We are becoming the called-out ones for this time. Changes must be made, and necessary paradigms must be embraced.
Matthew 9:17 Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.
Job 32:19 Inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.
The Gathering of the Watchmen and Midwives
"There is a birthing and a building taking place. I have been calling my Midwives to assist in the birthing process. For I am positioning them in such a place so that what is being birthed can be protected. I have ordered the building process to be strengthened in this time.
"I have also been calling forth My watchmen. For they will stand in the tower and watch over the building as they keep an eye on what is approaching the city.
"The builders and those carrying key tools of grace in this season will no longer be hindered. I am strengthening the hands of My people to war and to win. That which the enemy sought to destroy in the birthing will not come forth. They will come alive with the power to prevail. That which is being built will be complete. Weapons will be formed, but they will not prosper. For the Lord is connecting His people and His purposes so that both can be established, and the evil influences will be confronted at the gate. This company of people will do great exploits."
A Work of Prayer and Praise In the Earth
Prayer and high praise, with prophetic songs and warfare worship, and apostolic declarations, will seal the Word of the Lord. They will lead the way to prepare for the glory of God in the face of coming trouble. The Word of God will be the strength and the standard bearer as we lift the standard in the face of whatever opposes us. Greater grace will be our portion and a greater glory will be our reward.
A Glimpse Into 2015: The Coming Confrontation
God's people are entering into a significant shift in 5775 that will set things in motion that even now are just beginning to surface. There will be results that will be visible and they will be worked out in the year to come. It was a painful process for many who were hungry for change, but it also allowed us to come to the end of ourselves. By us letting go of that which we didn't need, we were then able to embrace what we needed, and it was the principle thing that was the most important to Him.
As we enter into 2015, there will be a confrontation – conflict caused by a series of events which will take place. It will seem troubling, but I hear the Lord saying to us, "Know that that which I spoke over you shall not fall to the ground. This conflict is a result of the ideals that were carried by the values of men versus the values of My heart. It is important to know that what has been declared in the Heavens over My people is now. Those who will follow My way will become living manifestations of 5775; they will gather as an army ready to stand, to fight, and to overcome."
I believe this contradiction of ideals presented by the world system with ungodly forces during the coming New Year will be the source of the confrontation. There will be battles that will be fought in the heavens, and even upon the lands, on various levels. Victories will be won based on Whose we are and not just who we are. The seeds of truth from Abba's words to us, released in this hour, will take root and the glory of God will come forth into full bloom. That same glory will strengthen us for what is coming. For that which has been ordered according to the timings of the Lord will not be hindered by the timings of man.



by Rabbi Hector Gomez on December 2nd, 2014

Pray to "Adon Ha Katzeer"-"Lord of the Harvest"
for Divine Favor & Breakthrough this coming New Year 5775/2015
The Shemitah Year of Release !






Part one and two of the Unwrapping of Christmas!




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wlmwskLGyE






http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI95e9jtG_o




The Chanukah Season starts on the eve of December 16th through the eve of December 24th, 2014
Come celebrate Chanukah with us on our Special services December 18th 7pm & on the 20th 2014 at 5PM!  






[Hebrew-Roots]










 -


            























CHRISTMAS OR CHANUKAH?






 CHRIST'S MASS

The word Christmas is a shortened form of “Christ’s Mass”. The word “Mass” is a Latin word meaning “offering”. Thus “Christ’s Mass” literally means “Messiah’s Offering”. Messiah’s offering was of course his crucifixion, not his birth. When a person says “Merry Christmas” they are actually saying “Merry Crucifixion of Messiah.” Moreover Christians observe “Christmas” (Messiah’s Offering) once a year. However the Scriptures tell us that Messiah was offered once for all time and is not offered again and again once a year (Hebrews 10:1-4, 10-14). An annual “Christ’s Mass” is therefore clearly unscriptural.

YESHUA/JESUS’ BIRTHDAY?

The Christian Book of Why it admits that December 25th was NOT the birthday if Messiah:

…Most biblical scholars agree that the birth, in fact,
did not take place in December at all…
(CBW p. 205)

When Yeshua was born the shepherds were at watch in their fields (Lk. 2:8) which could not have been in the Winter. In fact it can be shown that Messiah was born at Sukkot (Boothes/Tabernacles) in 4 B.C.E..

The key to calculating the date of the birth of Messiah is Luke 1:5 where we learn that Zechariah the father of Yochanan was a priest of the course of Abijah.

The priests became to numerous to all serve at the Temple all the time, so they were divided into 24 courses (1Chron. 24). Each course served for two weeks each year, once in the former rain (first half of the year) and once in the latter rain (second half of the year). There were also three weeks in which all the priests were required to serve, these were the three pilgrimage festivals (Dt. 16:16). 24 times 2 is 48 plus three is 51. 51 weeks is 357 days fitting nicely within the 360 day lunar year.

The course of Abijah is the eighth course (1Chron. 24:10) which serves the tenth week during the former rain portion of the year (this is because during Passover and Shavuot (Pentecost) all fo the priests serve together Dt. 16:16). Zechariah had his vision while serving in the course of Abijah in the tenth week (It will become apparent that he was serving his first course not his second as the timing will show as we progress). Thus Zechariah's vision took place during the 10th week of the year (The religious year beginning at Nisan/Abib around 14 days before Passover). We must add two additional weeks before Yochanon (John) could be conceived, due to the purity laws (Lev. 12:5; 15:19, 25). So Yochanon was concieved in the 12th week of the year. He was born about 40 weeks later during the 52nd week of the year (12 + 40 = 52) which brings us to Passover. Thus Yochanon was born at Passover, the very time that Elijah was, according to Jewish tradition, supposed to appear.

Yeshua was conceived 6 months (about 25 weeks) after Yochanon's conception. This means Yeshua was conceived around the 37th week around Chanukah. This would mean the light of the world was conceived during the festival of lights.

Yeshua was born 40 weeks later (around week 77 that is week 25 of the following year) this brings us to the time of the fall feasts.

There are several clues that Yeshua was born at Sukkot:

1. Bethleham was "booked solid." This would not have been due census which would have taken place over the period of a year. Every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for Sukkot (Dt. 16:16) this would have over run Jerusalem as well as Bethleham just five miles away.

2. Yeshua was born in a stable. The Hebrew word for "stable" is "sukkah"
(as in Gen. 33:17) so it is likely that Yeshua was born in a Sukkah/booth.

3. If Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot then he would have been circumcised on the "eighth great day" a festival following Sukkot. This day was the original "Simchat Torah" (Rejoicing in the Torah) which is now held the following day in Rabbinic Judaism. So Yeshua would have entered the covenant on the day of "rejoicing in the Torah."

4. When the angels appeared to the shepherds they made a statement which closely echos the ancient Sukkot liturgy "...behold, we have come to declare to you glad tidings of great joy." (Lk. 2:10-11)

5. Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a "tabernacle" (body?) with us.

Now in Mt. 2:7-8, 16 Herod kills all the children two and under. The fact that he killed such a wide range indicates that he did not know quite how long ago Messiah had been born. Yeshua's parents fled to Egypt until they heard Herod was dead. They were back in Bethleham in time to perform Miriam's (Mary's) purification and Yeshua's dedication on the 4oth day after Yeshua's birth (as required by Torah) (Luke 2:22-38.

By this time Herod had to be dead or they could not have come to the Temple in Jerusalem. Herod had to have died during the 40 days between Yeshua's birth, and his dedication 40 days later. Herod is known to have died in September of 4 B.C.E. So Yeshua had to have born in the fall (this rueles out that Zechariah could have been serving during Abijah's second course of the year, since that would place Yeshua's birth in the Spring and not allow for Herod's death during the 40 days after his birth in the fall). This also tells us that the year of Yeshua's birth was 4 B.C.E.


THE PAGAN ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS

As early as the first century converts from Pagan backgrounds (who “did service unto them which by nature are no gods”) were attempting to incorporate their old pagan festivals into the Messianic movement and Paul rebuked them for this:

8: Howbeit then, when ye knew not God,
ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9: But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God,
how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements,
whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10: Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11: I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
(Gal. 4:8-11; KJV)

About the year 230 the Gentile Christian "Church Father" Tertullian wrote:

By us [Gentile Christians] who are strangers to (Jewish)
Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable
to God, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia,
and Matronalia are now frequented, with gifts being carried
to and fro.

That Christmas is of pagan origin is hardly a matter of debate. It is a matter of fact that the same date was celebrated by the Pagan Romans as the Birthday of the Sun god and had originated in the Babylonian Mystery Religion.

Most encyclopedias readily admit this fact under their articles on Christmas. Even the Christian Book of Why CBW) (which in general advocates observance of Christmas) admits the pagan origin of Christmas.
One of the first questions this book answers about Christmas is “Why was Christmas not celebrated by Christians of the Early Church?” (a point even the Christian Book of Why does not dispute). The CBW answers this
question:

Christians of the first century did not celebrate the
festival honoring the birth of Jesus…. It was the feeling
at that time by all Christians that the celebration…
was a custom of the pagans. In an effort to divorce
themselves from all pagan practices, the early Christians
refused to set aside a date marking Jesus’ birth. As
a result, the first celebration of Christmas by Christians
did not take place until the fourth century.
(CBW p. 205)

The next question answered by the Christian Book of Why is “Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th?” The CBW answers:

…Most biblical scholars agree that the birth, in fact,
did not take place in December at all… Why then the
25th of December? Actually, the date was chosen not
by Christians, but by Romans, the traditional antagonists
of the Early Church. … the Romans celebrated the “Feast
of Sol Invictus” (The Feast of the Unconquerable Sun) on
December 25th. Bishop Liberius of Rome ordered in 354
that all Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ child on
that day.
(CBW pp. 205-206)

To obtain more adherents to Roman Catholicism it was the policy of the papacy to amalgamate the heathen festivals with things of Christendom.
Pope Gregory wrote to Augustine the first missionary to the British Isles (C.E. 597):

Do not destroy the temples of the English G-ds;
change them to Christian churches. Do not forbid
the "harmless" customs which have been associated
with the old religions; consecrate them to Christian use.

Thus Rome retained a pagan form for "Xmas" but could not restrain its pagan spirit-- existing to this day. Most of the major elements one generally associates with Christmas can be shown to be of pagan origin.

Mistletoe, holly berries, wreaths, Christmas ham, the Christmas goose, the yule log, the Christmas tree and even Santa Clause can be traced back to pagan origins.

Mistletoe is a parasite which the Druids used as a charm. Holly Berries were believed to be sacred to the Sun god. Wreaths were used by pagan Druids as well. The boar and goose were animals commonly offered by Pagans to the Sun god. The Norse and Anglo Saxon tribes would burn a “Yule Log” to honor Thor. The Scandinavians even adopted the word Yule (wheel, sun) as their word for “Christmas”. The Christmas tree may be traced back to the worship of Oak trees by the Anglo and Germanic tribes but goes even further back to the use of trees in the worship of Tammuz by the Babylonians.

Santa has a pagan origin as well. When the Norse burned the yule log they believed that the goddess Hertha would appear in the fireplace and bring good luck upon the home. Christians replaced the goddess Hertha with St.
Nicholas, and anti-Semitic fourth century “Saint” whose feast day was near Christmas time. The Dutch called St. Nicholas “Sinter Klause” which was picked up in America as “Santa Clause”. Santa Clause retains godlike qualities. He is apparently omnisent (he knows who is naughty and nice) omnipresent (visits all of the children of the world in one night) and perhaps even omnipotent (at the very least has magical powers). It is interesting that “Santa” is an anagram of “Satan” and that both are often called “Old Nick”.

In fact because of its well known pagan origins Christmas was actually illegal in early colonial America and only gradually became a legal holiday in the United States. In fact the Christian Book of Why even includes the Question “Why was the celebration of Christmas once banned in the United States?” (p. 206). It was not until 1856 that Christmas was made a legal holiday in Massachusetts, the last of the US states to accept Christmas as a legal holiday.

Although many Christians see Christmas as a “Christian” holiday, Christmas is actually a very worldly holiday. Non-Jews do not join with Jews to celebrate Jewish holidays. Non-Muslims do not join with Muslims to celebrate Muslim holidays. So why do non-Christians join with Christians in the celebration of Christmas? Why do pornographic magazines feature special Christmas issues? Why do topless bars, gay bars and strip joints host Christmas parties? Why do non-believers love Christmas? Because Christmas is clearly a worldly holiday. On this day Christians and non-believers join in the celebration of the high carnival of the year, while Nazarene Jews and others abstaining from this pagan holiday are called “ignorant”, “narrow minded” and “crack pots” for objecting to Christmas observance. On this day the whole world pretends to love Messiah, even though Messiah said the whole world hates him (Jn. 7:7).

"Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
(Eph. 5:11).

The birth of Jesus is remembered each year but Yeshua is contemptuously set at naught.

The Torah reminds us:

"You shall not follow a multitude to do evil"
(Ex. 23:2)

And as Yeshua himself said:

"That which is highly esteemed among men is abominable in the sight of Elohim"
(Luke 16:15)

And as Paul writes:

"Be you not conformed to this world but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may know what is that good and acceptable and wholehearted will of God."
(Rom. 12:2)

We are commanded to come out from Babylon, be separate and not to partake of her sins (2Cor. 6:14-18; Rev. 18:2-5; Is. 48:20; 52:11; Jer. 50:8; 51:6, 45; Zech. 2:6-7).


Meat Offered to Idols

It has been suggested that Paul's statements in 1Cor. 8:1-13; 10:7, 14-28 conflict with the ruling against eating meat offered up to idols (Acts 15:10, 29; 21:25; Rev. 2:14, 20). However there is in reality no conflict.
Let me explain:

Acts chapter 15 does not give an exhaustive enumeration of all of the laws which apply to gentiles, but rather the "greater burden" or outer lying limits of the Noachdic or Gentile Law (Acts 15:28). This is based on a Jewish principle called "KOL V'KHOMER" (light and heavy) which recognizes that certain commandments are of greater weight than others (see Mt. 23:23; the principle is used in Mt. 12:11-12 & Jn. 7:22-23). There was never any question as to whether Gentiles could forsake justice, blaspheme, murder or steal; so there was no need to list these with the greatest burden of Gentile Law.

The Noachdic Law against idolatry is given very strict borders. Idolatry is to include eating meat offered to idols.

Now in 1Cor. 8:1-13; 10:7, 14-28 Paul agrees that one may not knowingly eat meat offered up to idols. The halachic issue Paul questions, is whether or not one must ask, when purchasing meat, whether or not it has been offered to idols. Paul argues (based on Ps. 24:1=1Cor. 10:26, 28) that meat is not actually altered by the idol but that eating such meat appears to others to endorse the idol to which it was offered. If meat is advertised as having been offered to idols, then believers may not eat it, since this would appear to endorse the idol. However, since the idol has no real power over the meat, believers are not required to ask, since this would imply that the believer believed that the idol had power over the meat, thus ascribing power to the idol and endorsing idolatry by acknowledging the idol's alleged power.

A basis for Paul's argument can be found by comparing Paul's summation of his argument in 1Cor. 10:28 to the story of the martyr Eleazar in 2Maccabbes 6:1-29. Eleazer was a prominent Jew under the Helene rule. A day came when all of the Jews were to show their loyalty by eating meat offered to idols at a public feast. Eleazar was not willing to do so, but because of his prominence, the authorities offered to allow him to sneak kosher meat into the feast and eat it instead, thus only appearing to eat meat offered up to idols. Eleazer refused, knowing that this would appear to endorse idolatry, despite the fact that the meat would be kosher. As a result Eleazar was executed. This story demonstrates that eating meat offered to idols is wrong, not because of the meat itself, but because of the implied endorsement of the idolatry. Thus, Paul's interpretation does not conflict with Acts 15 but actually implies a very strict interpretation, by which eating kosher meat would also be forbidden, if the meat were falsely advertised as having been offered to an idol.

The December 25th holiday (Christmas) is a holiday which has been offered up to idols. The idols have not changed the day, but observance of December 25th appears to support idolatry. It is a well known fact (found in most any encyclopedia and even the Christian Book of Why) that Christmas is simply a Christian adoption of a pagan holiday. Believers who observe Christmas appear to endorse idolatry. This can have the effect of making the believers testimony to his faith appear false (or hypocritical) while driving non-believers to other faiths which may be apostate in other areas but which abstain from Pagan holidays (for example the Jehovah’s Witnesses). Those who witness to the truth in other areas but observe Christmas dishonor the truth and make it look as if it must be false. And this is part of the message of Chanukah as we will see later.


What about Romans 14?

Some Christians will quote Romans 14:5-6 in an effort to prove that we should not object to observing Christmas as a special day. The problem is that they take Rom. 14:5-6 out of context.

In Romans 14 Paul is comparing those who are weak in the faith with those who are not (14:1-2). He first compares non-vegetarians to vegetarians (14:2) and finds that while vegetarians are weak in the faith, we should not “despise” them (14:3).

Then Paul compares those who “esteem one day above another” to one who “esteems every day alike” (14:5). If we compare with the parallelism of the previous example it would seem that Paul is saying that those who esteem every day alike are weak in the faith just as vegetarians are weak in the faith. Thus the “correct” position described in Rom. 14:5 is to “esteem one day above another” (as required by Torah). In context those who “esteem one day above another” in Rom. 14:5 are those who observe sacred days as laid out in Torah. They are NOT those observing pagan festivals. The ones we are told not to judge are not Christmas keepers either but the ones who “esteem every day alike” (i.e. who do not observe any holidays at all).

The following chart will help illustrate the point:

[One who is not weak] “One who is weak”
“Believes he may eat all things” “eats only herbs”
“esteems one day above another” “esteems every day alike”

Paul is saying that these weaker brothers should be strengthened in the faith, not despised and judged. However Paul speaks very differently about those who attempt to incorporate Pagan holidays into the true faith:

8: Howbeit then, when ye knew not God,
ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9: But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God,
how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements,
whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10: Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11: I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
(Gal. 4:8-11; KJV)


Chanukah not Christmas

While the early believers did not observe Christmas, Yeshua himself observed Chanukah as recorded in John 10:22-23:

And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of the Dedication (Chanukah),
and it was winter.
And Yeshua walked in the Temple in Solomon’s porch.

It is sad that Chanukah is often thought of a Jewish equivalent of Christmas. Christmas and Chanukah are complete opposites. Christmas is the result of assimilation into Pagan Helenistic culture. Chanukah has to do with resisting assimilation into Pagan Helenistic culture, even to the point of death. Why do we observe Chanukah?

When the Greek Helene Empire was split after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, there were continuous attempts by the Greeks to force our people to abandon Torah and Judaism and adopt Helenistic ideas, customs and practices. In 175 BCE King Antiochus force was employed to persecute all Jews who held to Judaism. He looted the Templeforced all Jews to bow down to idols he placed there and sacrificed a pig on the Holy Alter.

Of course this defilement of the Temple and persecution resulted in a Jewish uprising. The leader of this uprising was Judah Maccabee. On the 25th of Kislev, exactly three years to the day after the defilement of the Temple, the Greeks were driven out in the year 165 BCE. Thus on the 25th of Kislev the Temple was rededicated.

This event is recorded in the First Book of the Maccabees as follows:

Then said Judas and his brothers, "Behold, our enemies are crushed; let us
go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it."
So all the army assembled and they went up to Mount Zion.
And they saw the sanctuary desolate, the altar profaned, and the gates
burned. In the courts they saw bushes sprung up as in a thicket,
or as on one of the mountains. They saw also the chambers
of the priests in ruins.
Then they rent their clothes, and mourned with great lamentation, and
sprinkled themselves with ashes.
They fell face down on the ground, and sounded the signal on the trumpets,
and cried out to Heaven.
Then Judas detailed men to fight against those in the citadel until he had
cleansed the sanctuary.
He chose blameless priests devoted to the law, and they cleansed
the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to an unclean place.
They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had
been profaned.
And they thought it best to tear it down, lest it bring reproach upon them,
for the Gentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar,
and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until there
should come a prophet to tell what to do with them.
Then they took unhewn stones, as the law directs, and built a new altar
like the former one.
They also rebuilt the sanctuary and the interior of the temple, and
consecrated the courts.
They made new holy vessels, and brought the lampstand, the altar of
incense, and the table into the temple.
Then they burned incense on the altar and lighted the lamps on the
lampstand, and these gave light in the temple.
They placed the bread on the table and hung up the curtains. Thus they
finished all the work they had undertaken.
Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is
the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year,
they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of
burnt offering which they had built.
At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it,
it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes
and cymbals.
All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who
had prospered them.
So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered
burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise.
They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and furnished them with doors.
There was very great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the
Gentiles was removed.
Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that
every year at that season the days of dedication of
the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days,
beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.
(1Maccabees 4:36-59)

The Talmud add the following information:

What is the reason for Chanukah? For our Rabbis taught:
On the 25th of Kislev begin the days of Chanukah,
which are eight, during which lamentation for the dead
and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered
the Temple, they defiled all the oils in it, and when the
Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them,
they [the Hasmoneans] searched and found only one cruse
of oil which possessed the seal of the High Priest, but which
contained sufficient oil for only one day's lighting; yet
a miracle occurred there and they lit [the lamp] for eight days.
The following year these days were appointed a Festival with
the recitation of Hallel and thanksgiving.
(b.Shabbat 21b)

(See also: 2Macc. 10:5-8 and Josephus Ant. 12:7:6-7)

Let us remember the true message of Chanukah that Yeshua is the true light of world and what for us is the "reason for the season"... resisting Pagan helenistic influences such as Christmas will only bring blessings to your life and to your children, children's.
In Yeshua Messiah's Love,
Rabbi/Pastor Hector Gomez



◀ Older Posts
Next Posts ▶


Search

Subscribe

follow on
Categories

no categories
Tags

no tags